Rio state to vaccinate population against yellow fever

Is yellow fever the new Zika virus? Scientists fear sudden outbreak in Brazil could become an epidemic - and spread to the US

They were concerned that local yellow fever outbreaks could occur similar to the spread of Zika in the US and other countries.

"Although it is highly unlikely that we will see yellow fever outbreaks in the continental United is possible that travel-related cases of yellow fever could occur, with brief periods of local transmission in warmer regions such as the Gulf Coast states, where A. aegypti mosquitoes are prevalent", the team added. While viral transmission of yellow fever has been limited to forest dwelling mosquitoes in jungle areas, these regions are close to major urban centers like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.

"In an era of frequent worldwide travel, any marked increase in domestic cases in Brazil raises the possibility of travel-related cases and local transmission in regions where yellow fever is not endemic", the team wrote.

Dr. Fauci and Dr. Paules also warned that USA territories like Puerto Rico - where more than 37,000 people have contracted Zika since January 2015 - could be vulnerable to outbreaks of yellow fever.

But an increasing number of people have also been infected, making it Brazil's worst yellow fever outbreak among humans in decades. The PAHO also said that the fatality rate is around 33% for confirmed cases and 11% for suspected cases.

Although there is a vaccine for yellow fever it is not given as a routine vaccination program in Brazil, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. With worldwide travel more accessible and more frequent than ever, travel-related cases of yellow fever may happen in the U.S.

The majority of these are found in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Espírito Santo. As vaccines ran low, health officials had to administer one-fifth of the standard dose to extend the supply, Paules and Fauci noted.

"The yellow fever outbreak in Brazil is yet another reminder of the dangers posed by mosquito-borne diseases around the world", said Erin Staples, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC.

That mosquito, common in many tropical and subtropical cities, also carries the dengue and Zika viruses, which has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

Top infectious disease experts are warning about a rapidly spreading outbreak of deadly yellow fever in Brazil that could hit parts of the United States.

"In light of the serious nature of this historically devastating disease, public health awareness and preparedness are critical, even for critical cases", the authors said. Although PANO confirmed 101 people in Brazil have died from yellow fever since December, officials are still reviewing 109 other deaths that may be connected to the virus.

Symptoms are similar to the flu and could become severe to include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and jaundice - hence its name yellow fever.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, acknowledged that while it was too early to panic, the prospect of "urbanized" yellow fever was one that strikes fear in the hearts of public health officials.